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Fourteen Wales internationals on the move this summer amid cuts, 60-cap rule and new beginnings

A double-figure haul of Wales internationals will be featuring for new clubs or regions when the 2022-23 season kicks off.

Some of those are stepping down to a grade of rugby to continue their careers, and others are still in their prime, holding down places in Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad and hoping to feature at the next World Cup.

We count the asterisks among those who have already signed for fresh teams and those who could well do so in the coming weeks:

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Taulupe Faletau

The 31-year-old will be playing for Cardiff in the new season after a six-year spell with Bath. He signed off at The Rec with a gilt-edged performance against London Irish which saw him create a try and save one three minutes from time to secure his team the spoils. “It shows what a quality player he is,” enthused Bath coach Neil Hatley.

Not a shred of doubt about it: it will be good to see Faletau back in the Welsh game.

Robert Evans

He was signed by the Dragons two days after his release from the Scarlets. Evans had been hampered by injuries out west and found himself eased out at the Scarlets amid a difficult financial climate and the rapid progress of up-and-coming props Steffan Thomas and Kemsley Mathias.

“He’s been caught in a perfect storm,” a leading player representative told WalesOnline. “There are some talented young props at the Scarlets and Rob has had injuries at a time when he’s coming out of contract and there isn’t a huge amount of money in Welsh rugby.”

But when he is injury-free and fully firing, Evans is an asset. At the Dragons, he will also have a big point to prove.

Bradley Roberts

The Dragons already have one international hooker in Elliot Dee, but come the new campaign they will have another in their ranks after snapping up Roberts from Ulster.

His switch to Welsh rugby means he avoids falling foul of the rule which prevents an exiled player from playing for Wales unless he has 60 or more caps.

In short bursts for Wales, Roberts has looked dynamic, suggesting he will be a more-than-useful acquisition for the Dragons.

Dan Baker

He has stepped down to the semi-professional level with Aberavon after a spell with the Dragons. There are still not many better ball-carriers in Wales than the 29-year-olds and the Wizards will hope to benefit.

“Dan is an outstanding rugby player and, more importantly, he’s a great guy,” said Aberavon head coach Jason Hyatt. “He will bring a wealth of experience which will help us develop as a team.” You can read more about Baker’s 11th-hour change of heart here.

Jonah Holmes

The back-three man has put his Wales career on hold by heading out of regional rugby to join Ealing Trailfinders after exiting the Dragons. Little more than a year ago, he was in superb form for the Rodney Parade team.

But the 2021-22 campaign didn’t work out as he would have hoped and he apparently turned down an elite 38 contract offer from the Welsh Rugby Union after failing in his appeal against the wage he was designated. With the Dragons reportedly unable to cover his entire contract rather than just the 20 percent they needed to stump up if he had stayed within the elite 38 group, Holmes opted to leave Welsh rugby. In so doing, he has probably ended his Wales career.

Tavis Knoyle

He didn’t exit the Dragons quietly, subsequently popping up on S4C’s Jonathan show to say there were “too many English people running the place ”, so he wanted out. Maybe it was the compulsory Morris dancing before training he wasn’t keen on.

Jesting aside, Knoyle appeared disillusioned with the professional game. But he has since rekindled his love of the sport with an appearance or two at lower level. The scrum-half will be playing for Merthyr in the Welsh Premiership in the new campaign.

Thomas Young

He is returning to Cardiff after eight seasons with Wasps. Consistently outstanding for the English club over the years, he should provide an excellent acquisition at the Arms Park with his dynamism and skill around the park.

The openside’s move back to Wales means he will have no future issues with the 60-cap rule, as well.

Liam Williams

Sanjay will be doing his stuff for Cardiff in the new season after leaving the Scarlets.

He didn’t play much for the west Walians for a multitude of reasons during his second stint with them, but on his game the full-back or wing is a player who would enhance any side.

Rhodri Jones

The 21-cap prop has hitched up with the Dragons from the Ospreys. He provided an asset to the Ospreys over six seasons with his strong scrummaging after making the call to focus exclusively on the loose-head position.

There will be hot competition for the No. 1 jersey at the Dragons next season with Rob Evans and Aki Seiuli also in the mix, plus youngster Josh Reynolds.

adam warren

Capped once by Wales, the center has returned to Llandovery RFC after being released from the Dragons. He will also have a role as backs and strength and conditioning coach with Llandovery College.

The west Walian made 132 appearances for the Dragons over seven years, signing off with a typically whole-hearted display in the United Rugby Championship clash with the Lions.

More than a few expressed the view the Rodney Parade region might regret letting go one of their most dependable players, who was called into an office to be given the crushing news he was no longer wanted just days before the season finale. You can read his account of what happened here.

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OTHERS WHO COULD BE ON THE MOVE

hadleigh parkes

“Who knows?” said the 34-year-old when WalesOnline asked him about his future recently. “Who knows at this stage. I’m just cruising along, enjoying the off-season. We’ll sort that out later.”

Call that being relaxed about his circumstances.

But it does look as if the former Scarlet will be on the move from Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights with Damian de Allende linked to a switch there. Parkes’ options might include staying in Japan, heading home to New Zealand or possibly returning to Wales, though he has stressed he hasn’t had any contact yet from the regions. Remaining in Japan seems the likeliest course for him at this stage, judging by his comments from him to WalesOnline.

Tom Prydie

He has left Bath after his mid-season release from the Scarlets.

No word yet on where he will end up, but with his pace, goal-kicking ability and versatility, he could still do a job at a decent level.

Tyler Morgan

I have received a call from Wales Sevens after his recent exit from the Scarlets.

But there has been no news about a fresh club or region for the center or wing who won five Wales caps between 2015 and 2018. The expectation is that it will change, with Morgan only 26 and still having plenty of talent.

jamie roberts

He has played in Wales, France, England, South Africa and Australia, so it’s anyone’s guess what he will do next after completing his stint with the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

Might he head back Down Under at some point? Hard to say.

But Roberts has vast experience and can still achieve go-forward for a side. It would be a surprise if he were short of would-be suitors.

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